An Alaskan woman was on life support for nearly six months so that the child growing inside of her could have a chance to live. The baby, born July 8, is doing well.
Jessie Ayagalria was three months pregnant when she fell into a coma. Doctors sustained her and the baby with a feeding tube and IV drip until they delivered the baby. After the birth, her family removed her from life support.
Ayagalria was living in Bethel, and had been in a relationship with her boyfriend, Arnold, for ten years. Her mother, Shirley Jerry, said that they were talking about getting married and starting a family together.
The day she fell into a coma, Jessie was reportedly living life as normal and laughing with her uncle and sister. But just moments later, she was in critical condition.
"Next thing I know they were hollering for me and I told them to call 911," Jerry told KTUU. "It happened just that fast."
Ayagalria, 29, had had a seizure, and went into cardiac arrest. Doctors soon informed the family that Ayagalria was pregnant, a fact that they were unaware of. They also learned that Jessie had no brain activity.
Her mother described how difficult it was to hear the news.
"It's hard because you know that she's there to carry the baby, but if you know the baby does get born which she now is, we're going to have to let her go," she said.
At 35 weeks gestation, baby Faith was delivered by C-section. Although she had trouble breathing on her own the first two days, the family reports that she is now doing well. They described feeling a range of emotions upon meeting the baby.
"It's like a roller coaster," Jessie's cousin, Catherine Greydanus, told KTVA. "You have to deal with what's going on with Jessie, but then you see Faith and can't help but smile that something positive has come about this."
Jerry said she believed her daughter would not want to be sustained in her current condition.
"We're just gonna let her pass on 'cause I know in my heart she wouldn't want to be like this," she told KTUU. "I just know in my heart she wouldn't want to be taken care of like this and I feel, I hope I'm doing the best I can for her by letting her go."
The family considers baby Faith a miracle.
"That's the last of my Jessie, she's precious. She's a miracle, she made a miracle," Jerry said.
Ayagalria's sister plans to adopt her niece when she is released from the hospital. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help with expenses.